Major funding boost for efforts to end rough sleeping in Felixstowe area
By Derek Davis
23rd Sep 2022 | Local News
A Felixstowe councillor has welcomed the allocation of £2.5million in government funding towards additional support for people at risk of sleeping rough.
The £2,434,258 funding settlement will be awarded across three years in support of a long-term, strategic programme to end rough sleeping and Richard Kerry, Trimley ward councillor for East Suffolk is convinced their share will make significant impact.
East Suffolk Council is among 303 local authorities, charities and other organisations to have received a share of up to £500m as part of the government's flagship Rough Sleeping Initiative (RSI) – designed to help provide emergency beds, off-the-street accommodation and wrap-around support.
It follows publication of the £2bn cross-government Rough Sleeping Strategy by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLHUC) to drive forward a manifesto commitment to tackle homelessness.
In East Suffolk, RSI funding will go towards additional emergency accommodation and resources, providing valuable services across the district in conjunction with Access Community Trust.
Funding will also facilitate partnership work with Suffolk County Council on developing a Housing First model of support – piloted in Manchester, Liverpool and the West Midlands – for not only rough sleepers, but also young people requiring a pathway plan towards independent living.
Cllr Kerry, East Suffolk Council's cabinet member for Housing, said:
"This is a considerable funding commitment from the government and will have a significant positive impact on the Council's work towards ending rough sleeping.
"It's not just about giving someone a roof over their head, but also about providing tailored, long-term support to help rebuild the lives of vulnerable people with often complex needs – from finding work and managing finances, to accessing mental and physical health services.
"This will strengthen the ability of our Housing Team to deliver vital services and ensure that no one feels forced to sleep on our streets."
East Suffolk Council's existing Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy is designed to help achieve the objective of an overarching Housing Strategy to ensure that those threatened with homelessness are provided increased support in accordance with the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017.
The Council works alongside partners including health, mental health, drug and alcohol services, probation, the Department for Work and Pensions, faith groups and charitable organisations to offer a comprehensive Rough Sleeper Pathway to promptly engage with anyone sleeping on the streets.
During winter months, when sub-zero temperatures are forecast for three consecutive nights, East Suffolk Council offers additional support through the Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP), enabling anyone sleeping rough to access emergency accommodation and support during periods of exceptionally cold weather.